Monday, November 26, 2007

Farewell, Daddy-O.

I'm back. At least physically I am.

I first want to thank everyone for their kind words and thoughts. They mean a lot to me.

And I'm sure I will return to my regularly scheduled stupidity soon enough, but I beg your indulgence, as I need to say goodbye to someone.

I have never really done this before, so I'm not sure how it will turn out, but I'm moving forward anyway. I don't know if this is the most appropriate venue for this or not, but it's my place to record my thoughts, and quite frankly, I think I need to let people know what he meant to me. Is it more for me than him, yeah it probably is, but I guess I'm a selfish prick, then. If you would like to continue reading, please do, if not, that's fine.

As most of you probably know, my father passed away on the 11th of November. It was unexpected, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I still can't quite believe that he's gone. The acute pain has subsided a bit, but I think this one is going to hurt for a long time. A really long time.

I think my sister stated it best when she said..."I just feel like nothing is ever going to be okay again." That's about how it feels. My Dad was always there for us(I'm the youngest of 6). No matter what it was we needed, he was there. Advice, money, a shoulder to lean on. He was the one who would make things okay.

He taught me what unconditional love is. I know I did not always make it easy for him to love me, but I always knew he did. Being manly men, we did not say it all that often, but it did get said, and more importantly, it was shown.

As I said to my daughters the afternoon I found out he died(they, being 2, don't know what the hell I was saying, but I said it anyway), "If you think half of me what I think of your Grandpa, I'll feel lucky."

I remember once when I was in kindergarten, I had gotten this stupid little shark ring out of a gumball machine, and I wore it to school. Some of the other kids made fun of me and said that only girls wore jewelry. I went home crying, and my Mom tried to make me feel better, and when my Dad got home,she told him what had happened, and he sat me down and showed me his wedding ring, and told me that I should tell those kids that my dad wears a ring, and that they could come talk to him. I wore my stupid little shark ring proudly after that.

I don't want this to just be maudlin though, because my Dad was a funny, funny man, and he loved to laugh. A huge, booming laugh that he passed on to his kids.

I remember once we were at my Uncle's house, and one of his kids was sewing patches on the butt of her jeans. They lived in a town called River Edge, and she was sewing an "R" on one cheek, and an "E" on the other. my Dad looked at it, and said "What does that stand for, rear end ?" She turned bright red, and the rest of us fell over laughing.

I think the best thing I can say about my Dad is that he was a good guy. He was going to be honest with you, even if it was not necessarily what you wanted to hear. He would help you in anyway he could. He loved his family, loved his friends. And in turn he was well loved. I sure hope that he knew that.

I will leave you with a few of my Dad's best quips...

"You lose your charm when you lift your arm."

And my all time favorite, if someone was complaining about being in pain, my Dad would ask..."Does your face hurt ?", and when they answered "No.", he would smile and say"Well, it's killing me !" And then he would laugh. That huge laugh. I miss that laugh.

I miss you, Pop.

I love you.

"Fare you well
Fare you well
I love you more than words can tell
Listen to the river sing sweet songs
To rock my soul"- "Brokedown Palace"-Hunter/Garcia


Lauren said...

We missed you Patrick. If your dad was half as cool as YOU, then he must have been seriously awesome indeed.

Zooomabooma said...

Hey, bro. that Farewell brought a tear to my eye. Not everyone has a great relationship with their parents but you're a lucky one... I can tell he'll never really be gone from you as you carry through this life great memories of him. Cherish those and pass them along to your girls... and know that he never really will be gone at all.

Heal well, my friend.

Mark said...

Paticus - I don't know what to say, man. I'm sorry.

And I thought I'd leave you with this:

The Annotated "Broke-down Palace"
An installment in The Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics.
By David Dodd

Subject: Broke-down Palace
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 22:07:39 -0600
From: "Tom McKnight"


I just came across your web-site. I commend you on a fabulous job!

I've got a little story about "Broke-down Palace" that you might appreciate.

When I was a student at the University of Virginia, I had the fortune of hearing Ken Kesey give a talk and reading (this was about 5 years ago). Though his discussion was somewhat confused and disjointed, he had many moments of genius. One which I remember in particular was when was discussing the death of his son. His son had died when the high school wrestling team's van drove off a cliff during snow storm. Kesey went to great lengths to discuss his struggle with grief following this tragedy. He commented that not long after his son's death, he was invited to see the Dead play a gig somewhere on the West Coast. Kesey said that sometime during the second set, the whole band turned to him (he was sitting in a balcony seat, or was close to the stage...) and began playing "Broke-down Palace." Kesey recounted with tears in his eyes that it wasn't until that moment that he really understood what art was. He said that "All my life I thought art was this [he stuck a fist in the air]. But at that moment I realized that art was really this [he made a hugging motion]."

My condolences to you and your family...

Avitable said...

That was an outstanding tribute.

Paticus said...

Lauren-Thanks. He outcooled me every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

Zooma- thanks, my friend. I appreciate it.

Mark- Thanks for that story, i never heard that before.
and thanks for the kind words.

Avitable- thank you...He deserved it.

Feral Mom said...

A beautiful tribute. Thanks for sharing memories of you dad with us. I can't imagine this kind of loss, especially as you embark on the new-ish journey of fatherhood yourself. Big love from everyone at the Feral household goes out to you.

chlorinejenny said...

I'm sorry for your loss. He sounded like a great man.

Your sister is right, things won't be the same any more, but he lives on through you all and through your children too.

My thoughts go out to you.

Take care

-sh said...

Hi Paticus - Since I'm a regular but not frequest visitor to the Flats I'm just now reading about your loss - my condolences to you and your family.

Paticus said...

Feral Mom- thanks. i appreciate it.
Chlorinejenny- thanks for the kind words.

sh- thanks.